What do these symbols mean in this tab?

I’ve been practicing power chords and have found this tab but have no idea what the symbols mean highlighted below. Could someone help me out?

The red boxes above the tab are rests, where no sound should be heard.

The red boxes at the bottom are rhythm notation for string instrument.

The final red box means the notes are tied, you don’t pluck the second set of notes with the brackets around them.


That tab looks weird to me. I’ve never seen one that puts a rest between tied notes before. The rhythm looks tricky as well.

I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to work with bad tabs off the internet, and this one looks suspicious.

What’s the song? If it’s a song you know, it’s probably best to use the tab for the fret positions of the chords, and figure out the rhythm by ear.


This one looks like two 8th note power chords separated by a 16th rest. Quite a weird way to notate that. Could have used separate 8th notes for these chords, like for the first one at the beginning.

For more details, check out this Wikipedia article on note values. :wink:

As for the tie at the end, it loos strange to me as there’s nothing to which the chord is tied. I would assume the creator of this tab meant that the final chord should sound for 2/8 notes, strummed only once.

I’m on it …

Eye of the Tiger.


Rising up to the challenge …

TAB doesn’t usually have rhythm and timing markers. This has incorporated some standard notation markings within the tab.
I have used Guitar Pro to provide a tab with standard notation above and annotated the diagram so hopefully all is clear.


I have changed my mind and advice.
I did base the above on the tab that @Stuartw provided but something struck me as not quite right.
I have since gone to Justin’s lesson and re-evaluated.
There are no triplets and the tab above differs to the way that Justin has transcribed and taught it.

See my new post below.

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TAB doesn’t usually have rhythm and timing markers. This has incorporated some standard notation markings within the tab.
I have used Guitar Pro to provide a tab with standard notation above and annotated the diagram so hopefully all is clear.


Triplets! Never really got a handle on those, which might explain my confusion.

How would you strum that? 8th notes, all downs?

That’s tab mixed with standard notation, but it looks like it was done by someone who is only partially familiar with standard notation.

In this particular case:

  • The two lower red boxes in the first measure are note duration indicators. In both cases they indicate eighth notes (quavers).
  • The three upper red boxes in the first measure are rests. The first is a quarter rest, the second is an eighth rest, and the third is a sixteenth rest.
  • The red box in the second measure is a half rest.
  • The red box that spans measures three and four are ties. They indicate the the note is held for throughout the indicated note durations. (Although there is no duration indicated for the second set of notes, here.) Also, note that the same basic symbol is used for both ties and slurs; you use context to determine which is intended.

There are several odd things about the way that tab is notated, though. Again, I think it was done by someone who has an “entry level” understanding of standard notation, especially as it relates to rhythm.

FWIW, as a starting point general reference, you can usually find the meaning of various standard notation symbols on Wikipedia.


Thanks for this. The video and tab is her 5 Great Power Chord Songs for Beginners (with Tab) Watch and Learn Guitar Lesson - YouTube

A lot clearer now thanks.

If you want to learn Eye of The Tiger why not learn it from Justin?



If I were learning this song, this is definitely the approach I would take. That rhythm is very easy to reproduce having listened to the song a few times, I don’t think I could ever reproduce it from just the tab.

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Update - hopefully a correct, edited version.

I hope that I have explained enough to understand @Stuartw 's tab … but … I believe it is incorrect and does not quite match the actual song.

Check Justin’s lesson, and especially the count he provides at 8:24

I have tabbed this all out again and the version I believe is correct looks like this:

And sounds like this (with the C Guy playing in the background:


Thanks but why does Justin play this different to others? Ultimate -Guitar has the following tab which is similar to the other one I posted. Confused…again!!

The better question is why do others play it different to the record.

Stuart, check what Justin carefully explains in a few sentences from 7:54 in the video lesson. I think massive credit and acknowledgement must be given for his superb ability to transcribe. He has been precise and exact here and counted and noted that the riff is not one thing repeated. It is in two sections and each is marginally different, with some of the power chords hits being delayed by a fraction of a beat. Watch the video several times if you need to.

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Now I’m sure that Justin is right, just as I know that he has forgotten more than I will ever know, but odd that the two tabs are so far apart. Makes this learning guitar thing just a little bit harder.

I don’t think they’re so far apart. 8-10-10 from the 6th and 3-5-5 from the 5th are really the same power chord, just played a string below.

Are you sure about that? Surely 8-10-10 is from the 8th and 3-5-5 is from the 3rd?